Banning Lazy

I forgive myself for buying into the notion that I am… lazy.  I hate that word. Lazy. There is so much shame attached to it. It is ugly. It doesn’t feel good. Years ago I gave up the word “fat.” I don’t use it any more. Ever. Only in terms of “I am cutting the fat off this meat” kind of thing. Fat. I don’t like that word. There are so many negative connotations to it. So I stopped using it. I have decided to do the same thing with “lazy.” Gone. Its out of here! No more!

Because I am not lazy. I work long and I work hard. And it is ok that my work does not look the same as yours. I also take time to care for myself. I unwind. I take naps. I spend hours NOT multitasking. I play. And maybe you don’t take time to do those things and that is okay. We don’t need to be the same. But that does not mean I am lazy.

And AND Guess what else??!! You are not lazy either!

I am banning “lazy!” Who is with me?? xoxo

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Behaviors Come in Packages

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The following is an except form the book, The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

Let’s take three buddies who all grew up together. They live in the same neighborhood, with very similar sensibilities. Each makes around $50,000 a year. They’re all married and have average health and body weight, plus a little bit of that dreaded “marriage flab.”

Friend number one, let’s call him Larry, plods along doing as he’s always done. He’s happy, or so he thinks, but complains occasionally that nothing ever changes.

Friend number two, Scott, starts making some small, seemingly inconsequential, positive changes. He begins reading 10 pages of a good book per day and listening to 30 minutes of something instructional or inspirational on his commute to work. Scott wants to see changes in his life, but doesn’t want to make a fuss over it. He recently read an interview with Dr. Mehmet Oz in SUCCESS magazine and chose one idea from the article to implement in his life: He’s going to cut 125 calories from his diet every day. No big deal. We’re talking maybe a cup of cereal less, trading that can of soda for a bottle of seltzer, switching from mayo to mustard on his sandwich. Doable. He’s also started walking a couple thousand extra steps per day (less than a mile). No grand acts of bravery or effort. Stuff anyone could do. But Scott is determined to stick with these choices, knowing that even though they’re simple, he could also easily be tempted to abandon them.

Friend number three, Brad, makes a few poor choices. He recently bought a new big-screen TV so he can watch more of his favorite programs. He’s been trying out the recipes he’s seen on the Food Channel—the cheesy casseroles and desserts are his favorites. Oh, and he installed a bar in his family room and added one alcoholic drink per week to his diet. Nothing crazy; Brad just wants to have a little more fun.

At the end of five months, no perceivable differences exist among Larry, Scott, or Brad. Scott continues to read a little bit every night and listen to audios during his commute; Brad is “enjoying” life and doing less. Larry keeps doing as he always has. Even though each man has his own pattern of behavior, five months isn’t long enough to see any real decline or improvement in their situations. In fact, if you charted the three men’s weights, you’d see a rounding error of zero. They’d look exactly equal.

At the end of ten months, we still can’t see noticeable changes in any of their lives. It’s not until we get to the end of the eighteenth month that the slightest differences are measurable in these three friends’ appearances.

But at about month twenty-five, we start seeing really measurable, visible differences. At month twenty-seven, we see an expansive difference. And, by month thirty-one, the change is startling. Brad is now fat while Scott is trim. By simply cutting 125 calories a day, in thirty-one months, Scott has lost thirty- three pounds!

31 months = 940 days 940 days x 125 calories/day = 117,500 calories saved 117,500 calories saved x 1 pound/3,500 calories = 33.5 pounds!

Brad ate only 125 more calories more a day in that same time frame, and gained 33.5 pounds. Now he weighs 67 pounds more than Scott! But the differences are more significant than weight. Scott’s invested almost one thousand hours reading good books and listening to self-improvement audios; by putting his newly gained knowledge into practice, he’s earned a promotion and a raise. Best of all, his marriage is thriving. Brad? He’s unhappy at work, and his marriage is on the rocks. And Larry? Larry is pretty much exactly where he was two and half years ago, except now he’s a little more bitter about it.

The phenomenal power of the Compound Effect is that simple. The difference between people who employ the Compound Effect for their benefit compared to their peers who allow the same effect to work against them is almost inconceivable. It looks miraculous! Like magic or quantum leaps. After thirty-one months (or thirty-one years), the person who uses the positive nature of the Compound Effect appears to be an “overnight success.” In reality, his or her profound success was the result of small, smart choices, completed consistently over time.

The Ripple Effect

The results in the above example seem dramatic, I know. But it goes even deeper than that. The reality is that even one small change can have a significant impact that causes an unexpected and unintended ripple effect. Let’s put one of Brad’s bad habits under the microscope—eating rich food more frequently—to better understand how the Compound Effect can also work in a negative way and can create a ripple effect that impacts your entire life.

Brad makes some muffins from a recipe he learned from the Food Channel. He’s proud and his family loves it, and it seems to add value all around. He starts making them (and other sweets) frequently. He loves his own cooking and eats more than his share—but not so much that anyone notices. However, the extra food makes Brad sluggish at night. He wakes up a little groggy, which makes him cranky. The crankiness and sleep-deprivation begin to impact his work performance. He’s less productive, and as a result, gets discouraging feedback from his boss. By the end of the day, he feel dissatisfied with his job and his energy level is way down. The commute home seems longer and more stressful than ever. All of this makes him reach for more comfort food— stress has a way of doing that.

The overall lack of energy makes Brad less likely to take walks with his wife, like he used to. He just doesn’t feel like it. She misses their time together and takes his withdrawal personally. With fewer shared activities with his wife and an absence of fresh air and exercise, Brad’s not getting the endorphin release that had helped make him feel upbeat and enthusiastic. Because he’s not as happy, he starts finding fault with himself and others, and stops complimenting his wife. As his own body starts to feel flabby, he feels less self-confident, less attractive and becomes less romantic.

Brad doesn’t realize how his lack of energy and affection toward his wife affects her. He just knows that he feels funky. He starts losing himself in late-night TV because it’s easy and distracting. Feeling his distance, Brad’s wife starts to complain, then becomes needy. When that doesn’t work, she emotionally withdraws to protect herself. She’s lonely. She pours her energy into her work and spends more time with her girlfriends to fulfill her need for companionship. Men start flirting with her, which makes her feel desirable again. She would never cheat on Brad, but he has a feeling something’s wrong. Instead of seeing that his poor choices and behaviors are at the root of their problems, he finds fault with his wife.

Believing that the other person is wrong rather than looking inside and doing the work necessary to clean up your mess is basic Psychology 101 stuff. In Brad’s case, he doesn’t know to look inside—they don’t offer self-improvement or relationship advice on Top Chef or his favorite crime shows. However, the thought may have occurred to him that, if he had read the personal-development books his buddy Scott read, he might have learned about ways to change negative habits. Unfortunately for Brad, the small choices he made on a daily basis created a ripple that wreaked havoc on every area of his life.

Of course, all that calorie-counting and intellectual stimulation has had the opposite effect with Scott, who’s now reaping the bounty of positive results. It’s that simple. With enough time and consistency, the outcomes become visible. Better yet, they’re totally predictable.

The Hurting Place

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In Elaine Marshall’s talk Learning The Healer’s Art, she shares this story:

“My mother once told me of an experience she had one winter morning as she drove down to check the cattle in the lower pasture. She noticed a car off the side of the road. Inside she recognized a young mother and three children. When my mother asked if they needed help, the woman tearfully reminded her that this was the place of the accident two weeks earlier that had killed her husband. She answered, ‘We are just here to feel the hurt.'”

This story has always stuck with me and so a few months ago I chose a place to go to “feel the hurt.”

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This is it. It is a lovely little memorial near my home to honor veterans of all the branches of the military. I come here often. I pray and I ponder. I sit and I cry. A few times the hurt was so overwhelming that I have fallen to my knees and weeped that loud, painful cry that comes from the center of the soul. I like it here. To me it is peaceful. It is safe.

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“Healing is active—you have to be there. Your friend or your husband or wife or your mother cannot do it for you. You have to face the problem and the pain. To begin healing, you must acknowledge and feel the hurt. Only those who don’t feel, those without conscience, cannot heal.”

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“I assumed cure, care, and healing to be synonymous. I have learned they are not the same. Healing is not cure. Cure is clean, quick, and done—often under anesthesia. The antibiotic kills the pathogen; the scalpel cuts out the malignancy; the medication resolves the distorted chemistry. Healing, however, is often a lifelong process of recovery and growth in spite of, maybe because of, enduring physical, emotional, or spiritual assault. It requires time. We may pray for cure when we really need healing. Whether for cell reconstruction, for nerve and muscle rehabilitation, for emotional recovery, or for spiritual forgiveness, healing needs work and time and energy. Healing cannot happen in a surgical suite where the pain is only a sleepy memory. Cure is passive, as you submit your body to the practitioner. Healing is active. It requires all the energy of your entire being. You have to be there, fully awake, aware, and participating when it happens.”

Dear Veterans, thank you. I cannot even begin to understand the many sacrifices you have made to serve our country. I respect you. I honor you. I love you. Thank you. I want to be here for you. I will be your Brotherhood.

Below is a great video about the importance of and how to ask Veterans about their service. Please take the time to watch. And more importantly, take the time to be there. Keep kind and carry on. xoxo

If you struggle with PTSD please scroll up to the top of the page and click “Find Help Here.”

It Can Happen

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“Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.” –Steel Magnolias

Some moments my healing comes through tears and others through my laughter. Some moments my healing comes through cursing. Healing is hardly ever pretty. Healing is messy and often unpredictable. But healing is also divine. And in its own way, a precious miracle. Heavenly Healing provides restoration and a renewal of the heart, a lifting of the soul. Heavenly healing is a gift through the grace of God and a fruit of the Atonement of Christ. I cannot tell you how long your healing will take or what it will look like. What I can tell you is that it can happen. Healing happens. Healing is real because Christ is real. Because He lives. And not only does He live but He loves. The love of Christ is big. It is perfect and perfecting. Christ’s love offers restoration, redemption and renewal to the wounded soul.

Wild

Have you seen the preview for that movie Wild? Based off the book based off that woman’s true life story. Anyway, it got me thinking. Why?

Why, when we go through break-ups, heartaches, when we experience great loss do we do “crazy” things? Big things, extreme things…different things?

For me, it is to feel alive. Again. I want to feel alive again because the last time I felt alive was with him. That is why I jumped out of an airplane. That is why I went platinum blonde. It’s why I run races now. And 20 to 30 miles a week. It is why I dyed my hair back to deep red and then chopped it all off. Why I got a dog. Why I want to move to Iceland. Why I want blue hair and a tattoo. Why I want to quit every thing and drive away. Why I want to stay right where I am at. Why I let myself cry that big, full, deep cry every. day. every day. Why I choose healing.

I don’t need My Guy On A Buffalo to feel alive. I can feel alive on my own. But, oh, what a beautiful alive we were together.

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Truth Telling: Should I and How much?

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Halloween a year ago. My Guy on a Buffalo and I were still together. I never felt more beautiful than when we were together. Even with no make-up and messy hair and chapped lips.

Halloween a year ago. My Guy on a Buffalo and I were still together. I never felt more beautiful than when we were together. Even with no make-up and messy hair and chapped lips.

Truth telling is hard. Oh so hard. I feel such a pull to share my experiences with My Guy on a Buffalo but at the same time I do not want to throw him under the bus. I love this man. He is a good man. His behavior towards me was abusive. I believe in using the correct terms. There is power in them. There is freedom. There is truth. But I hate to think of or refer to My Guy on a Buffalo as my “abuser.” Correct term. Doesn’t sit well. Why? Because that is not who. he. is. “Abuser” is not CORE Guy on a Buffalo. I do not want to label him as that. That is not who he is and he can be helped, healed. He can change.

I have this fear. My fear is that if I tell the truth, if I share my experiences (which I feel so pulled to do) that one day he might read them. That it will cause him shame that he might not escape from. That he will not feel worthy of healing or goodness. And he is worthy! Of healing, restoration, redemption! Being honest here: that it might impede any future relationship we might have together.

I recently wrote a POST about listening to those who share stories of abuse because it can save a life. But the abused are not the only ones worthy of being saved. The “abusers” are too. Granted, I am sure there are people out there who are just mean. But I am gonna go out on a limb and also say that most abusers abuse because of addiction or mental illness. We must help them too (Doesn’t mean we should stay in a bad/unsafe situation EVER). We cannot force any one to change, to seek help or be saved. But we can be aware. We can educate ourselves with knowledge and resources. We can also listen… to them.

I dont’t know. I just don’t know.

Listen to Save a Life

A few months ago the opportunity came to me to share the truth about my experience with the one person, in my mind, who would want to know because it has a direct impact on their life.  I was completely surprised when this person told me they did not have the time to listen, they were too busy.  This person wanted nothing to do with me. I could not believe it. I still do not believe it. I am sure they have their reasons (I can guess and empathize). And I am sure those reasons are completely valid. So making this about me and not about them, this is what I learned…

I did not know how important it was for me to be heard by this person until that moment. I was not aware that need existed. I don’t need this person to hear me out in order to heal or to move on with my life — but, oh– how it would help.

That same day I came across this video. I sat at my kitchen table and watched over and over just sobbing. After what I had just experienced, in watching this video I felt heard – by someone. These brave women are telling a story that some times I cannot tell, even to myself. Please don’t think that my situation was extreme as any of these because IT WAS NOT. Having that said, there are a lot of things, feelings and experiences that we do share.

Friends, Readers, please, PLEASE- if any person comes to you and is trying to share – LISTEN. Put your own crap aside for a minute and listen. Even if you don’t know what to say or what to do. Even if you feel uncomfortable or frustrated, maybe even defensive. PLEASE LISTEN. Providing a listening ear could #savealife.

To watch the video please CLICK HERE. It is the first video in the article. Thank you for taking the time to watch. xoxo

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7 Days That Changed Me

Earlier this month I participated in a free 7 Day Wake-Up challenge group on Facebook. IT. WAS. AMAZING. No kidding. This is how it worked: I was added to a private FB group where every morning I had to be up by 7am and prove it with a selfie. Haha! Those early morning selfies were pretty hot! But it was great! There were daily assignments such as making your bed, drinking warm water with lemon, starting your day with a positive up-beat tune. It was a lot of fun! Everyone in the group was posting encouraging thoughts throughout the day.  We were sharing our struggles and cheering each other on. As participants, we lived all over the country. Along the way we earned points for the positive habits we were creating. At the end of the week there was a winner and I WON! Hot Dog! I actually won something! How about that:) Being a part of this group was uplifting.  It changed my life. I needed this group. Thanks goes out to my friend, Shante’ for coaching us through those rough mornings! You are excellent!

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Many of you know that for the past couple of years I have been hosting Biggest Losers contests via email. Some tanked but others were CRAZY successful. All together over 300 pounds were lost! You did that! Amazing! Because I have loved hosting the Biggest Loser contests and because I loved the set-up of the 7 Day Wake-Up challenge I have decided to combine the two and become a Beachbody Coach! Do What??? I AM A BEACHBODY COACH! Raise the Roof!

What is Beachbody? P90X. Insanity. Brazilian Butt Lift. ChaLean. These are all Beachbody workouts and there are many more! As a Beachbody coach I will be running 30 day, 60 day, 90 day challenges.  These will be private accountability groups on FB (like the 7 Day Wake-Up challenge). There will be daily check-ins and assignments. Major accountability and encouraging support. But here is the thing… Yes I believe in being fit physically but I also strongly believe in being fit mentally, spiritually and emotionally. That is why I will also be coaching FREE 7 day, 10 day, whatever day challenges. These will be Clean-Eating challenges, Training-Yourself-To-Drink-a-Gallon-O-Water a day challenges (needs a better name), Positive Self-Talk challenges – Whatever you need, let me know and I will coach an accountability group for it! We are in this together!! We need each other. We can support each other in making positive changes in our lives. That is what I will be organizing and facilitating as a Beachbody coach.

One of my first free challenge groups is going to be a Preparing for Change group. A 12 day class where we will be making small changes in our lives to prepare us for making the big changes! Remember this BLOG POST? Yeah, along those lines. I am so excited about it!

I am hosting these challenges, I am a Beachbody coach #1: For me. Hosting challenges keeps me accountable for my own change, my own growth. #2: I am a Beachbody coach for the same reason I hosted the Biggest Loser contests: For You! Who ever YOU are. I love you. I love helping you reach your goals.

I am channeling my inner Chris Powell. My inner Jillian Michaels. My inner Bob Greene. My inner Oprah Whinfrey. I am Channeling Diana. I am channeling me. The little girl inside of me trying desperately to heal. The girl who is learning to accept her flawed, imperfect, lovely self. Who is learning to love herself and set herself free. I am channeling Nicole.

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Permission

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I am a believer and a practicer of giving myself permission. From giving myself permission to fail and fail big to permission to succeed.  I have given myself permission to stay in bed all day when I have needed it.  On other days when staying in bed is what I wanted but far from what I needed I gave myself permission to get moving and hate it. Haha.  The key is to only give myself permission to do or think things that are in-line with my truth. For example, eating cake for dinner is  in-line with my truth but eating cake every day is not.  Standing up for myself: In-line with my truth. Name calling: Never. See how this goes?  The picture above is my most current permission slip.  The one below was made in January.

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And here are some random pictures of my younger sister and I just because.  These were taken in May??? I think

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Channeling Demi

Music is powerful.  It has the power to bring me low or bring me high.  It can validate the way I am feeling when I am feeling like no one understands.  It touches the soul.  It makes me sing.  It tells the truth and very often- it tells my truth.  Listening to Demi has been healing for me in my recovery.  One song that describes how I feel about My Buffalo Guy is “In Case.”  One that describes how I am trying to feel about myself is “Warrior.”

This morning I saw this Clean and Clear add featuring Demi.  I loved it.  I loved how she talked about being a real person who doesn’t always have it together.  I am not famous but I know what she is talking about and I am sure you do too.  Sometimes I feel like others view me as having it all together.  Whether that is true or not, I feel the pressure of that way of thinking.  I also loved how Demi talked about therapy.  I go to therapy every week.  Therapy is hard work.  Really. Hard. Work.  But worth it.  It has made a difference in my life.  It has saved my life.  Read more about my therapy experience HERE.

So thank you Demi.  Thank you for being brave.  For being honest.  In word and song. You sharing your truth has helped make me feel more the warrior I am.  Your music has played on repeat many of times as I have broken down and cried in the shower.  They have played so loud in my car , drowning out my own voice as I sang along.  They have pushed my feet to move one step after another on my daily runs.  Your music has not only validated but made me strong.  Thank you.